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The Daily Rundown

NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories.

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Russia 18, Ukraine 18, Kristen 12, Us 10, Kentucky 10, Ms. Lerner 10, Crimea 9, U.s. 8, Washington 6, Obama 6, Paris 5, Lois Lerner 5, Kerry 4, Elijah Cummings 4, Europe 4, Irs 4, America 4, Pnc Investments 4, United States 4, John Kerry 3,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck  
   Todd discusses the day's top political stories.  

    March 5, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01am PST  

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remains number one, the molly pitcher roadside. dick clark's grill, roy bucks. >> boy. that's murderer's row. >> yeah. what about the one now? >> we're all going there. >> it's way too early, so "morning joe." >> "the daily rundown." >> chuck todd, "the daily rundown." >> bye-bye. >> bye-bye. ♪ the offramp may be approaching as vladimir putin appears to soften his stance. secretary kerry tries to steer the ukraine cries toys a resolution on the ground. texas takeaways. democrats like the top of their ticket, but there may be a catch as republicans find the oldest member in congress facing a runoff, and next generation bush on the path to statewide office. plus, as new poll numbers again show rising support for same-sex marriage, a kentucky legal case fight gets emotional. we'll talk to the state's attorney general, jack conway.
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and good morning from washington. it's wednesday, march 5th, 2014. and this is the "the daily rundown," i'm kristen welker in for chuck todd. we begin with the crisis over ukraine where all the action seems to be on the diplomatic front. this morning, secretary of state john kerry kicked off a meeting of the u.n. security council in paris, designed to try to end the standoff in the ukrainian region of crimea. kerry began by reading a 1994 agreement he says has been righted by russia's incursion. >> the united states of america and russian federation and the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of ukraine. so there are very clear legal obligations that are at risk in this -- and we're going to talk about those here this morning. >> russia's foreign minister, sergey lavrov, did not attend the morning meeting, but he is
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expected to meet face to face with secretary kerry later today. before heading to paris, kerry stopped in kiev where he unveiled a billion-dollar aid package for ukraine and met with interim leaders, including the acting foreign minister who travelled to paris for the u.n. meeting. more on that from nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. andrea? >> reporter: what kerry is trying to do by bringing him here to paris is elevate him, give him legitimacy, and help him stand up to russia, and help persuade his colleagues they should avoid any military confrontation that would give putin a pretext to move further into ukraine. and frankly, that is what u.s. officials think is really putin's end game. they believe that he does want to take over ukraine, but this is part of his grand vision to re-create what was lost with the end of the soviet union, to re-create a russian federation that is really an empire. they don't know how to deter him from this, and that, of course, what president obama is trying to do by playing the exit
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strategy, trying to appeal to putin that it is in his best economic interests to take that off-ramp and not confront the west. >> andrea, thank you for that report. meanwhile, we're getting a better idea of what that off-ramp may look like. we learned overnight that president obama and german chancellor angela merkel have agreed on a plan that would install international observers in crimea once russia pulled back. lavrov seemed to reject that, however, when he said russia couldn't order the soldiers to withdraw because the they're local forces, not russian military, in echo of what putin said yesterday. nevertheless, president obama said he's hopeful russia is stepping back from the brink. take a listen. >> there have been some reports that president putin is pausing for a moment and reflecting on what's happened. there is a strong belief that russia's action is violating international law. i know president putin seems to
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have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations. but i don't think that's fooling anybody. >> now, on the ground, the situation is relatively peaceful, but still tense. on tuesday, the crimean interim prime minister installed after russia moved in reported that ukrainian forces in his region were defecting, something the ukrainian prime minister has denied. in addition, crimean leaders are moving ahead with a referendum of independence. ukraine's interim prime minister insists crimea must not split off from ukraine, but told the a.p. today that the region could be granted more autonomy. now, as ukrainian leaders try to keep the nation together, world leaders are rushing in to help. nbc's ian williams has more from kiev. ian? >> reporter: good morning, kristen. well, following john kerry's offer tuesday of a billion u.s. dollars of aid for the ukrainian economy, today the european union weighed in, saying that they would come up with
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$15 billion worth of help, mainly in the form of grants and aid. it's not clear what the conditions will be that will go with that, but what we do know now is the international community is moving very fast to shore up the battered ukrainian economy, an economy which is already in a bad way, even without russia turning the economic screws, as we are now seeing. now, crimea's been quieter today, the russians tightening control down there. but the ukrainian prime minister described the russian action there as not only a threat to ukraine, but a threat to world peace. at the same time, though, the ukrainian government has confirmed they are in touch with the russian government. so there is some discussion going on, some diplomacy, kristen. >> all right, ian williams, thank you for that report. let's turn now to russia where nbc's jim maceda joins us from moscow. what's the latest from there, jim, particularly in the wake of the news conference that putin
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held yesterday? >> reporter: hi, kristen. well, from the -- certainly from this perch here, it does feel like a flurry of diplomacy in the past 24 hours. the chances of avoiding war in the ukraine seems to be getting a boost, particularly from putin's comments yesterday, tuesday, that he saw no need to use force in ukraine and had no desire to annex the crimean peninsula. those two comments really allowed the military confrontation that we've been reporting on to take a step b k back. and even though, as ian reports, crimea remains tense on the ground today with a new report that russians had seized two ukrainian anti-missile posts, the perception still is that ukraine is spinning now not towards war, but towards some kind of diplomatic solution. secretary of state john kerry's meeting with sergey lavrov, for instance, starting in paris in less than an hour, is their first face-to-face since the current crisis escalated, and
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they no doubt will be discussing exit strategy. perhaps more importantly, you have the new ukrainian and russian governments for the very first time talking on a cabinet level at least, and a russian defense official is discussing ukraine with nato members in brusse brussels, as well. so, kristen, what's emerging, it seems in this -- from the swirl of diplomacy is a couple of end games. the russian plan and the western plan, if you will. washington and berlin pushing hard now for something that would include international observers to replace the russian or pro-russian forces in crimea, direct talks between russia and kiev, and new elections in may. now, reduction erussians want t return of viktor yanukovych to head a national unity government and new elections in december, so there's a gulf between the two sides, but at least the two sides are talking again.
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kristen if, that doesn't work, don't expect to see russian forces pulling back from crimea anytime soon. back to you. >> all right. jim maceda, thank you for that reporting from moscow. we appreciate it. joining me now, california republican ed royce, chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, holding a hearing on ukraine tomorrow. thank you so much for joining me this morning, congressman. appreciate it. >> thank you, kristen. >> so i want to start off with this news that we're hearing, the u.s. and germany might be working with russia on some type of an off-ramp, possibly in the form of international observers in crimea. what are you hearing about that? and are you hopeful that that's actually a realistic solution to this? >> what i have heard is that, of course, chancellor merkel speaks fluent russian and has for sometime been in negotiation directly with president putin, and i think the obvious point to the -- that she's been making is
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that the united states and germany could put tremendous amount of economic pressure, and also that russia could be isolated diplomatically. you know, with the united nations, our u.n. ambassador's looking at moving forward with a particular resolution, which russia would be forced to vote against, all other nations would support in terms of independence in the ukraine. so this kind of pressure, combined with a strategy of trying to engage their -- get observers on the ground, both in eastern ukraine and, as you pointed out, in crimea, might begin to set the stage. because we can show a voice for rights going on in the ukraine now. it would be good to make that observable to the rest of the global community. >> what specifically would you like to see if the form of sanctions? do you anticipate that they're actually going to pass through
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congress, because this has been somewhat controversial, as you know. >> it is somewhat controversial, but unless you have some type of leverage to bring to bear -- and here's the particular leverage, the oligarchs around putin have a tremendous amount of money in western banks. and likewise, the state-run banks in russia. they're involved in a lot of money laundering, and clearly under a sanctions regime, investigations by the treasury department or european governments, those assets could be frozen. and our hope is that the demonstration of the fact that that could be done is enough to sort of make the russians a little more rational in terms of their negotiations to wind this crisis down, and it's especially important that the russians understand if they were to start to move city by city in the eastern part of the country, and hoist the russian flag, you know, in eastern ukraine over
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every city hall, that there would be a tremendous response from the u.s. and europe collectively on sanctions. so we're trying to negotiate this out and hold this out as the leverage in order to get this wound down. >> and you're calling for sanctions against the oligarchs. should there also be sanctions against the major banks? >> well, there's travel sanctions against russian officials that are involved in this. there'd be sanctions against the state-run banks, which now under putin are all banks in russia, basically, the russian banks have all been taken over by the state. and this gives us considerable leverage. >> and, congressman, as you know, some of the united states' european allies aren't on board with the idea of sanctions. do you need to have them to move forward? how do you do that? >> you have to lead, and you have to spend a great deal of time working with the europeans. and one of the best ways to do it, frankly, is to let the europeans know that we're going
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to export -- they're dependent on rush for that gas. if i were to try to figure out one strategy, which would make them breathe a lot easier in the capitals of europe, it would be if we can pass legislation here that allows the export of that gas into the markets of europe. if they see that coming in the future, then they know they're not held hostage to the gas that flows from russia into europe and through the ukraine. and i think long term that has to be part of the strategy here, too. if we're going to have europe be -- have the capacity to act independently and we have a glut, of course, in our market in terms of gas, i think this would be a wise part of our strategy. i would say also -- >> congressman? we're just running out of time. i want to get your reaction to what one of your colleagues, john mccain, had to say. we'll listen to his sound and get your thoughts on the other side. take a listen. >> sure.
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>> after five years of -- of believing that somehow vladimir putin was anything but what he is, we are now paying the piper. >> your thoughts, has the obama administration underestimated putin, or is he just a volatile, unpredictable leader? >> my first experience with him, he was vice-mayor of st. petersburg. he was here in washington, and he was arm wrestling another american at the table who had done a lot of work in russia. and at one point, putin got up and poked him in the chest and said, cia, and the fellow poked back into putin's chest, and said, kgb. and that's the first time i realized that this fellow was somebody other than the vice-mayor of st. petersburg, that he clearly was associat associated -- by the way, his pride and his disdain for america came out in some of his comments that we had around the table. i don't know that putin has
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changed much. he's still basically at his core kgb. but on the other hand -- on the other hand, i think he's somebody who can be dealt with. we just have to be forceful, and we have to have the europeans united in this with us, and we have to let him know what the boundaries are. and that's one of the reasons why we want to bring this legislation up on thursday. >> all right, congressman ed royce, we appreciate your time this morning. thank you. >> thank you. and coming up, we could hear more from the obama administration on ukraine this hour. defense secretary chuck hagel will be live on capitol hill in just a few minutes. and up next, if it's wednesday, we've got election results. we've got the winners and losers and the races still not over in texas. the lone star state primary roundup is next. first, a look ahead at the politics planner. you're watching "the daily rundown" only msnbc. president obama taking a trip, going to talk about the minimum wage. we'll be right back. ic)
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the 2014 election cycle kicked off yesterday in texas, and if it's wednesday, we've got election results as we continue our tdr 50 look at the lone star. by and large, it was a good night for establishment republicans in texas over the tea party. republican senator john cornyn sailed to victory against seven challengers, including a very flawed opponent, steve stockman. picking up nearly 60% of the vote. >> texas continued to be practical in their approach. they're looking for solutions, not just speeches. >> congressman pete sessions beat back sarah palin-backed tea
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party challenger katrina pearson in the second district. nearly every one of the 23 house republicans running for re-election avoided a may 27th runoff. the exception, 90-year-old congressman ralph hall, the oldest sitting member of congress, will have to keep fighting to keep his seat, but not against a tea party challengener. he was forced into a runoff by former u.s. attorney john radcliffe, who has poured $400,000 of his own money into the race. the campaign will continue in the 23rd district where francisco canseco is vying for a rematch against democratic congressman pete gaiego. state democrats were not able to prevent rogers, who wants to impeach president obama for making it into a runoff. she'll face democrat david alameal in may. republican attorney general greg abbott and state senator wendy davis cruised to primary wins. take a look.
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>> in calling the race for me tonight, i've become only the second female democratic gubernatorial candidate since ann richards. greg abbott? he wants to dictate for all women, including victims of rape or incest, the decisions that they should make. >> we must never forget that the rights that we have, they don't come from government. instead, those rights come from god. >> in a sign that the establishment versus tea party story line is far from over, not every incumbent republican escaped unscathed last night. lieutenant governor david dewhurst who lost the primary to ted cruz finished second with just 28% of the vote in a four-way race and heads to a runoff against houston state senator and conservative radio host dan patrick in an incredibly vulnerable position.
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>> there was an article today in washington, someone told me, that said the tea party was dead in texas. as john wayne would say, that'll be the day. the tea party is alive and well. >> i think you're going to discover that there's more that unites us, you and me, than divides us. so i'm going to work real hard to obtain your support. >> republican contests for attorney general, agricultural commissioner, and railroad commissioner also head into overtime, and friedman's longshot bid will live to see another day. he advanced to a democratic runoff for the job. finally, 50 years after george h.w. bush was first on the ballot in texas, texas is poised to elect its third george bush. he cruised to victory in the republicans' race for texas land commissioner, picking up 73% of the vote against david watts.
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>> i love you, mom, with all my heart. i really appreciate you coming. [ applause ] and, jebby, love you like a brother. appreciate you coming out. i'm getting you out on the campaign trail this fall. >> nbc news senior political editor and native texan mark murray is here with this morning's "first read." a state very near and dear to your heart. let's start with the headline, which is this was a nice in which the establishment won. what does that say about the tea party, and does it say that the establishment has learned to win in these types of races, the primaries? >> kristen, a good night for the establishment, and in that way, expected. john cornyn was expected to beat the flawed stockman. you had greg abbott who in nominal opposition. i think the one that might be
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surprised is how easily pete sessions, the congressional primary, was age to beat the tea party candidate, the backing of sarah palin and ted cruz's father. the tea pearce has already won the war. if you look at how the republicans up and down the ballot were running, everyone was running very hard to the right. people were running very hard against president obama, even in races which has nothing to do with federal office and dealing with president obama. so the tea party set the formula, and in some ways, i think they kind of won the larger war, how the republican is using the language in these fights. >> let's look at the one small surprise. congressman ralph hall, 90 years old, now entering a runoff. not necessarily because of the tea party, right in. >> well, it's a situation which if you're an incumbent in this runoff, it's not a good situation. you have 45%, 46% of the vote. if you're looking at how that runoff is going to be gamed out, he needed to get much closer to 50%. i think a lot of the factor has to do with his age. he ended up saying, this will be
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my last race. if i win, i wouldn't run again. he ended up facing a well-financed challenger who's trying to win the house seat now, not later. >> incredible to think about running at age 90. the other one, george p. bush. let's listen to what he had to say and get your reaction on the other side. >> any advice from your dad? >> well, at the beginning of the effort, you know, he gave the best advice, and that's outhustle your competition. that's been the best advice i've gotten in the family. >> how about your uncle? >> no, he always said, you know texas is like its own country. you know, i was born in houston, went to texas schools, married a beautiful west texan, and my boy is a third generation, but until you put your name on a statewide ballot, you don't fully get that sense. >> so the bush brand remains very strong in texas. >> well, right. and he's set up to win land commissioner and be a force in texas politics going forward. as we've seen, though, there's so many people who are going to be the new lieutenant governor
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of the state of texas, the new attorney general that he will have to some competition for these big -- you know, whether it's the u.s. senate race or governor races down the road, and, kristen, one person we haven't talked about on the democratic side is julian castro, the democratic mayor of san antonio, and the question is, does he run for higher office in 2018, 2020, 2022? so there are fascinating, big-name contests going forward in the state of texas. >> certainly one to watch. mark, thank you so much. >> thanks, kristen. >> appreciate it. first, it was florida, this week it's texas. where will tdr 50 take us next? that's up to you. all year, we're going outside the beltway, diving into each state's top races, changing demographics and the issues shaping the political landscape. so head to our website to vote on which state you want us to tackle next, and tweet us using #tdr50. we'll be right back with our hump day databank. first, today's trivia question -- since george h.w.
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bush in 1970, who is the only sitting texas republican congressman to run for u.s. senate and win? the first person to tweet the correct answer to @chucktodd and @dailyrundown will get the on-air shoutout and more. hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
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[ mom ] when we're having this much fun, why quit? and new bounty has no quit in it either. watch how one sheet of new bounty keeps working, while their two sheets just quit. new bounty. the no-quit picker-upper. welcome back. and in today's "databank" good news for minimum wage workers. 71%. that's how many people in connecticut support raising the minimum wage. it shows a stark party divide with 93% of democrats supporting and 53% of republicans opposing it. president obama will speak about raising the minimum wage when he visits connecticut today, but the same poll shows his approval ratings are at their lowest point ever in that traditionally blue state. well, this next number could be good for another politician. 69%.
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that's how many people describe hillary clinton as tough in a new pew research survey. the same survey found 51% of americans would like to see clinton run for president. 43% would not. our next number, 90 feet. that's how wide nasa says the dx110 asteroid is, and it's headed straight for us -- well, sort of. scientists say the asteroid will come within 217,000 miles of the earth. that's closer than the moon, but experts say the risk of the asteroid actually hitting the earth is about 1 in 10 million. well, this next number is absolutely sobering. 8,000. that's how many tons of trash on average workers have to pick up in the french quarter during mardi gras. quite a party. this year's fat tuesday party was chiller and -- chillier and somethingier than most, but, as always, it ended promptly at midnight. finally, 17. that's how many states along with the district of columbia are now issuing same-sex
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marriage licenses. illinois was scheduled to start offering the licenses june 1st, but late yesterday, illinois attorney general lisa madigan provided guidance to county clerks who want to offer same-sex marriage licenses immediately. and add kentucky to the list of states where the attorney general is opting not to defend a ban on same-sex marriage. we'll talk to kentucky's attorney general who got very emotional as he announced his decision. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc investments works with you to understand yours and helps plan for your retirement. talk to a pnc investments financial advisor today. ♪
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i think we both are clean freaks. i used to scrub the floor on my knees. [ daughter ] i've mastered the art of foot cleaning. oh, boy. oh, boy. oh, boy. [ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this. it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor. if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah. developing news to bring you from the house. a hearing is getting under way on the irs controversy that came to light last year when officials admitted the agency improperly targeted conservative groups that were applying for nonprofit status. the former director of the irs exempt organizations office you see there, lois lerner is
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appearing before the oversight committee. lerner had invoked her right not to speak, so technically today's hear something a continuation of that one following a break that lasted 286 days. well, over in the senate, defense secretary chuck hagel and join chiefs chairman martin dempsey are set to testify before the senate armed services committee. they'll try to convince the $ $49 billion budget. the plans include shrinking the army and cutting programs in 2015, but ignore sequester limits beginning in 2016. hagel will tell the senate committee it's necessary to preserve national security. on one other note, we'll be listening to closely to see if hagel is asked about ukraine or russia, and we'll bring you any developments as they happen. a new national poll is showing support for same-sex marriage has hit an all-time high. specifically, a majority of americans polled say gays and lesbians have, in fact, a
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constitutional right to marry. now, the "washington post"/abc poll shows 59% of americans support same-sex marriage. 34% are opposed. it's really a dramatic turnaround from just a decade ago. the same poll in 2004 found only 38% supported legalizing same-sex marriage. 59% were opposed. well, the latest poll also shows that in the 33 states where same-sex marriage is banned, 53% support legalizing it. 40% in those states opposed it. one of those 33 states that's banned same-sex marriage is kentucky, and we're actually watching the division in opinions play out at the highest levels of the state government. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins us with the very latest on the legal wrangling. you have the governor and attorney general, both democrats, talking about this. >> reporter: an order last week saying kentucky must recognize
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same-sex marriage performed elsewhere. the question of whether the state should permit them was not before the judge. now, the question is, what will the state do? just last week, the attorney general asked the judge for 90 days to put this ruling into effect. the judge said he would give them about a month, about 20 days. but the attorney general said yesterday he has decided he cannot be part of the appeal of the ruling, because that would be defending discrimination, and the governor, steve beshear, also a democrat, said he will go forward, they'll hire an outside counsel to carry on the defense. so now, this means eight states, in eight states, state attorney generals, have decided not to defend the bans, and that list includes california, in addition to kentucky, illinois, nevada, new mexico, pennsylvania, and virginia. the question, of course, will this issue get to the supreme court? it's in several courts of appeals now, and the question is, will the supreme court take it maybe by next term, kristen.
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>> all right, pete williams, thank you for that. we appreciate it. >> reporter: you bet. >> this seemed to become an emotional and even personal issue for kentucky's attorney general. >> in the end, this issue is really larger than any single person. it's about placing people over politics. for those who disagree, i can only say i'm doing what i think is right. in the final analysis, i had to make a decision i could be proud of. for me now and for my daughter's judgment in the future. >> and i am joined now by kentucky attorney general jack conway to talk about his decision and his disagreement with the governor over same-sex marriage. thank you so much for being here, attorney general. we really appreciate it. >> my pleasure, it's great to be with you this morning, kristen. >> so can you take me behind that moment? you were incredibly emotional.
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why was it so emotional for you? how did you reach that decision? >> well, it was very emotional for me, because we were really under siege in our office for the last few weeks, hearing from both sides on the issue. and i had friends who had counselled me that they believed this was discrimination. i felt the same in my heart. many thought i had a mandatory legal obligation to defend the law through the appellate process. the governor was technically my client. so i had to be -- i had to confer with him, and we were talking back and forth. in the end, my wife, who's a remarkable person, she sat me down late last week, and she said, jack, you know what's in your heart. she said, jack, you stink when you're not authentic. you know, we talked about our daughters and we talked about our daughters and we talked about their judgment in the future. you know, i was holding it together fine until i started thinking about my wife and what she'd said to me. my wife and daughters are everything to me. and family is everything to me.
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and so, i got emotional. you know, i didn't expect to do it, but i couldn't help it. >> and, as you know, your wife, you're pointing out, played a role in this. attorney general eric holder essentially green-lighted what you did last week saying that if states attorney general feel as though these laws go against the constitution that they don't have to uphold them. did the attorney general play a role in your decision, as well? >> i saw what attorney general holder said last week, but, no, not really. when this -- when i was first named as a defendant, along with the governor in this lawsuit, i had an obligation. i thought i had to defend the law and put it in front of the federal district court and frame the issues in a proper way, not in a fire and brim stone way, but the proper way for the court to consider. i did that. and then when i read the judge's ruling, i realized i agreed with his analysis. and at that point, i knew i 4 a decision to make, so i had to talk to my client, who is the governor. and i just got to the point,
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kristen, where i realized if i defended this any further, i'd be defending discrimination, and that's a line in the sand for me. >> as you know, governor steve brashear is saying he'll bring in outside lawyers to defend the system. he said it should be decided by the supreme court. what was your reaction to learning that the governor is going to appeal this decision? i imagine you weren't surprised. >> well, i wasn't surprised, because, you know, i can't discuss the details of my conversations with the governor, those are privileged attorney-client conversations, but i knew what his decision would be. i disagreed with it. i thought it was a matter that would be decided either way, either by unanimity of the circuits or by the supreme court, and i didn't want to put the resources of the kentucky attorney general's office any further into this matter. i thought we'd be wasting our time on something that we weren't going to win. and i thought i wanted to put kentucky on the right side of
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history here. >> ultimately, will this go all the way to the supreme court? >> i don't know. i was listening to mr. williams before i came on. we have to -- you know, i think the supreme court will have to see a division amongst the serkts in order to take it up. right now, the judges, at least at the district court level, seem to be deciding the cases one way. if all of the circuits agree, they may not. but we've got a strong signal from, i believe it was justice sotomayor, a few weeks ago when she reached down and put a stay in place in utah, and i thought that was a strong signal from the court that they were watching this matter and anticipated that they will have to take it up. >> all right, kentucky attorney general jack conway, thank you so much for joining us this morning. we really appreciate it. >> my pleasure, kristen. my pleasure. still to come here on the "the daily rundown," the battle over the budget. congressman chris van hollen, top democratic on the budget committee, join us. but first, the texas soup, the
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and we're going to dip back into the house oversight committee. lois lerner appearing before them. we understand she is again pleading the fifth. let's take a listen to a little bit of the hearing. this relates to the irs targeting scandal. take a listen. >> -- the president's political -- effectively and lied about it during the election year in the polls. he continued this on such -- if you will sit down and allow me to ask a question, i am a member of a congress of the united states of america. i am tired of it! we have never -- each who represents 700,000 people. you cannot just have a one-sided
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investigation. there is absolutely something wrong with that, and it's absolutely un-american. >> hear, hear. >> we had a hearing. it's adjourned. i gave you the opportunity to ask a question. >> i do have a question. >> i gave you an opportunity to -- >> chairman, what are you hiding? >> he's taking the fifth, elijah. >> he continued this on sunday when he appeared on fox news to discuss a republican staff report claiming that ms. lerner was -- >> and that's congressman elijah cummings becoming heated there at the irs hearing at the house oversight committee. we'll continue to monitor that and keep you posted. darrell issa, the chairman you saw, just left the hearing. well, trivia time now. phil graham is the only -- whoops, that is -- oh, yes, here it is. phil graham is the only sitting
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texas republican congressman to run for u.s. senate and win since 1970. and we want to say congratulations to today's winner, kent sholars, who' who's @jksholars. send us your trivia suggestions. we'll be right back. before we leave, a little bit more from elijah cummings. take a listen. >> -- instead, the lying of the results section of his report says that it began with employees in cincinnati who, i quote, developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words tea party in their names, end of quote. our committee confirmed this fact when we interviewed a screening group manager from cincinnati. this manager explained that his employees were the ones who first came up with the inappropriate search terms in 2010. he denied any political motivation and he made his point
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by explaining that he is a, quote, conservative republican. i released the entire interview transcript eight months ago for anyone who wants to read it for themselves. the inspector general's report also found that ms. lerner did not discover use of these criteria until a year later in 2011. when she learned about them, and i quote again from the report, ms. lerner immediately directed that the criteria be changed, end of quote. mr. george's chief investigator also reviewed more than 5,500 e-mails from irs employees, and again found no evidence of political motivation. over the past year, our committee has obtained hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and interviewed dozens of witnesses. the irs spent more than $14 million responding to the congressional investigations, and we have found no evidence to
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support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups. what we have identified, however, is evidence of gross mismanagement. ms. lerner failed to discover that employees employees were using and even after she ordered them to stop, they returned to using similar inappropriate. and like former irs commissioner, ms. lerner failed to inform congress about what she knew. i do have serious questions for ms. lerner and i am very disappointed that i will not be able to ask them today, but i do not support the republicans' conclusion that she waived her constitutional right nine months ago when she invoked a fifth amendment and do not believe a court would uphold that conclusion. now, chairman's gone, but i'd like to ask him a few procedural questions involving having a proper attorney. as i said a little bit earlier,
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her attorney can proffer that she loses nothing, nobody gains anything, but february 26th, ms. lerner's attorney sent a letter to the committee saying he met with the chairman staff last month. at that meeting, her attorney said, and i quote, the staff asked if i would provide a proffer of the testimony she would give and i agreed to do that, end of quote. but that did not happen. as i understand it, proffer does not grant immunity to the witness z not bind the committee in any way. instead, it allows the committee to obtain information to waive her fifth amendment rights. i was not invited to the meeting last month when ms. lerner's attorney and i have not been included in any negotiations, but it seems to me that the committee loses nothing by accepting this proffer and, in fact, we may gain important information. as a matter of fact, the very
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questions that the chairman just asked ms. lerner, where she asserted her fifth amendment rights, those are the kinds of questions that can be answered in a proffer. so, i wanted to ask the chairman whether the committee can schedule a time, preferably this week, for all committee members to hear the proffer from ms. lerner's attorney. and with that, i yield back. >> mr. ranking member, i just want to know for the record i find it supreme irony that the chairman of this committee would unilaterally decide an american citizen has waived her fifth amendment right, while actually exercising his fifth amendment right to not answer your questions on behalf of the minority of this committee. >> thank you very much. >> and so that was congressman
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elijah cummings saying based on the findings of the oversight committee, the house oversight committee, there appeared to be gross mismanagement within the irs, but not necessarily a political conspiracy. you saw there the hearing getting very heated, as lois lerner, who was in charge of that branch for the irs, again pleaded the fifth, so refusing to testify again today. and just to remind you, the irs accused of targeting tea party conservative groups. so that is what the hearing was about. and now we are going to turn to the budget. president obama heads to connecticut today to talk about the minimum wage, but first, congressman van hollen, i just want to get your reaction to what we just saw there, those heated comments from congressman cummings, of course, coming on the heels of lois lerner pleading the fit. >> that's right, kristen. look, what we're seeing in the house today is a sign of larger
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dysfunction and partisanship on of wh behalf of republicans. darryl issa has been conducting this political witch hunt for a long time now. he's frustrated because he hasn't been able to come up with any evidence of intentional political wrong doing on the part of the obama administration, and so he's getting frustrated and making stuff up. in fact, on another issue, benghazi, he has very recently and twice been awarded four pinocchios by independent fact checkers, that's the maximum you can get for false statements, so whether it's benghazi or this trumped-up investigation of the irs, republicans are desperate, and what are we doing today on the floor of the house? for the 50th time, we're going to vote to repeal the affordable care act, to get rid of obamacare. that is all republicans in the house want to do. that and this kind of kangaroo court you're seeing here. unfortunately, there are a lot
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more important issues we should be talking about, and the president's budget would help move this country forward, but they don't want to talk about that. >> and we're going to get to that in just one minute, but i want your thoughts on this, should lois lerner testify? a lot of people have questions for her. should she, in fact, testify? >> any witness has to rely on their attorney's advice, and so i think that's what she's doing. as we know, we have a system in this country where you're allowed to take the fifth amendment. it's not a sign you're going to otherwise have committed any offense, but i think her lawyers are recommending that. look, at the bottom what this whole issue about the irs is about, is republicans want to continue to allow these organizations, some of these more shadowy organizations, to spend millions of dollars on campaigns secretly, secretly. there's no quarrel that people can spend as much money of their own money or other people's that
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they want on their first amendment rights and trying to influence the outcome of campaigns, but we've said is, the voters have a right to know. the voters have a right to know which special interests are pouring millions of dollars into these campaigns and what they want. these guys are trying to buy a congress that serves certain special interests. the public has a right to know who's trying to purchase those elections. >> all right. >> and republicans are resisting that. the idea of transparency and disclosure and accountability in these elections. >> congressman chris van hollen, we appreciate it. we invited you to come on to talk about the budget, but have run out of time. thank you so much for your thoughts, appreciate it. that is it for this edition of "the daily rundown." don't forget to go to rundown.msnbc.com to vote for the next state in our tdr 50. coming up next on msnbc, "jansing and co." have a great day, everyone.
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i'm meteorologist bill karins. not a lot of snow to talk about, but just a little bit, some fallen overnight from minneapolis, to chicago, up towards milwaukee. be careful driving in the lower portion of the great lakes. otherwise, chilly in the southeast, but better than yesterday. new orleans today, 58 degrees with some rain. florida, one of the warmer spots on the map, but a chance of thunderstorms in orlando. have a great day. all-you-can-eat is a hotel policy that allows you to eat all that you can. the hotel gym is short for gymnasium. the hotel pool is usually filled with water. and the best dot com for booking hotels, is hotels.com. it's on the internet, but you probably knew that. or maybe not, i don't really know you. bellman: welcome back, captain obvious. captain obvious: yes i am. all those words are spelled correctly. cut! [bell rings] this...is jane. her long day on set starts with shoulder pain... ...and a choice take 6 tylenol in a day which is 2 aleve for...
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speaker john boehner is expected before cameras any moment now on a day where the house of representatives is expected to take a 50th, you heard that right, 50, 50th repeal vote on the affordable care act. with an eye locked on foreign affairs, the president hits the road. he'll go to connecticut this afternoon to press his domestic agenda and push for an increase in the minimum wage. we'll talk to the president's host today, connecticut's governor, dan malloy. and the voters have spoken. the lone star state offering a possible road map for 2014, so exactly what can we glean from tuesday's texas primary? good morning, i'm chris jansing. and we begin on capitol hill. this is just developing, moments ago, what you can only call a tense confrontation between the chairman of the house oversight committee, that's darryl issa the republican, and the ranking democratic elijah cummings. let me set the stage for you. there's this hearing about the